Photographic Portfolio critique

JonnySchneider's picture

Heya everyone,

I'd really appreciate any feedback you feel like give on this online photographic portfolio.

So far its been through a few rounds of changes, and i'm starting to feel like it is nearly done. The client is pretty happy with it, but i'd really like some non-biased critique.

Unfortunately i dont have the luxury of an artistic director, so it can be really difficult to recognise potential problems and find ways to make things better.

Its worth noting that i've used raster previews of Relay Regular and Fresco Script from Fontshop and removed the watermarks. This means i have no tracking/kerning control. Of course, i'll buy the faces when i know they'll definitely be part of the website.

Cheers for all your input!

~ Update ~
Alternative compostitions (refer to post below for explanation)

Composition 02
http://www.design839.com/comps/comp_002_portrait.jpg
landscape: http://www.design839.com/comps/comp_002_landscape.jpg

Composition 03
portrait: http://www.design839.com/comps/comp_003_portrait.jpg
landscape: http://www.design839.com/comps/comp_003_landscape.jpg

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Alessandro Segalini's picture

I find "PORTFOLIO" out of place, and I wonder why it is condensed.

JonnySchneider's picture

Yep, i agree that it is out of place. Everything else is trying to be organic, and the word "PORTFOLIO" seems a bit to clean or geometric. I guess it doesnt really add anything. It just kinda sits there. Maybe it would be best to leave it out all together?

As far as being condensed, well there was no particular reason for that. I've noticed that I tend to lean towards condensed faces though, not entirely sure why, maybe because i feel like they have more impact.

What is the traditional use for condensed faces? I always thought it stemmed from newsprint where column widths are narrow and the space is expensive, so bold condensed faces are used at hight point sizes than copy to make the biggest impact in the smallest space?

timd's picture

Given the organic nature of the design I would look at redrawing the tabs so that little nick in the top left doesn't repeat. As discussed Portfolio is out of place and not really required. I wonder about the overall composition the tabs and the picture select boxes hem in the top and right, if the tabs pulled from the bottom of the image (or under the picture select boxes) and Portfolio was dropped you would be able to show the images at a larger scale and give you room to manoeuvre when it comes to pictures with different proportions. the "stitched edged" type in the background also seems a bit extraneous the point of a portfolio is ultimately to show the work to its best and the neutral oatmeal background is probably enough.
Tim

JonnySchneider's picture

Yeah, absolutely re: nicks on the tabs. At construction time, these will be made unique.

Good ideas about navigation alterations too. I think the navigation needs to have proximity to the photo display area otherwise it might start feeling like a regular website with normal menus etc. I'm not sure about pulling tabs 'down' though, it doesnt seem right. In reality, if you were looking down at a desk, it would be easier/more natural to reach over a photo and pull away from the body as opposed to pulling one towards your body. Maybe pulling them left to right from behind the image select boxes could work. It would offer the same sort of flexiblity for different orientation (which i hadn't even thought about! What am i going to do with portrait?)

Hm, this raises many questions...

I'll shuffle some things around and post again soon...

Cheers Tim!

JonnySchneider's picture

Ok, here are a few alternative compositions.

First up, i've tried to maintain navigation that is attached to the photo. It's hard to accomodate portrait and landscape orientation because unless the whole lot moves around (which is a nav/usability nightmare) the different orientations leave very different whitespace. So its hard to balance the page.

Heres the results:
portrait: http://www.design839.com/comps/comp_002_portrait.jpg
landscape: http://www.design839.com/comps/comp_002_landscape.jpg

Needing more flexibility, if I detach the groupings from the actual photos, that means photos can be arranged a bit more elegantly, something like this:

portrait: http://www.design839.com/comps/comp_003_portrait.jpg
landscape: http://www.design839.com/comps/comp_003_landscape.jpg

What do you think (and apologies for getting off topic a bit, i guess we're talking more about layout than typography now... sorry!)

timd's picture

003 seems the best way to go, something I might look at though is the portfolio, about, contact tabs, might be more user friendly at the top (as 002).
Don't worry about layout vs type, one needs the other for both to function.
Tim

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